here’s the best way to narrow down your video recommendations

The Mozilla Foundation has shared the results of its study to better refine the recommendations of videos received according to the tools supported by the YouTube algorithm.

Source: Photo by Christian Wiediger for Unsplash

As on TikTok, Instagram or Google, YouTube takes advantage of its own recommendation algorithm to highlight certain videos on your home page. While the goal for videographers is often to unlock the secret of the algorithm by getting viewers to subscribe or comment on videos, viewers may be looking for better video recommendations.

In this context, the Mozilla Foundation studied four tools made available to users to make YouTube understand that they did not like a certain type of video or the videos of a particular channel. These four tools are the “dislike” (the famous thumb down), the button ” not interested “the option “do not recommend the channel” or deleting a video from YouTube viewing history.

The results of the Mozilla study
The results of the Mozilla study // Source: Mozilla

To measure the influence of these four tools, the Mozilla Foundation has made available to Internet users an extension called RegretsReporter. This will make available to the foundation the YouTube recommendations obtained by Internet users. More than 22,500 participants shared their recommendations with Mozilla. From then on, Mozilla was able to deduce the influence of such and such a tool made available to reduce the visibility of a channel in the recommendations received by a YouTube user.

  • The option “do not recommend the channel” reduced recommendations by approximately 43%;
  • The option ” not interested “ reduced recommendations by approximately 11%;
  • The button “dislike” reduced recommendations by approximately 12%;
  • Deleting a video from history reduces recommendations by approximately 29%.

Concretely, while the option “do not recommend” and deleting do reduce the likelihood of being recommended a particular channel, thumbs down and not interested are much less useful for videos.

A button dislike less and less useful

It must be said that the button “dislike” — or thumbs down — visible under YouTube videos has lost much of its appeal lately. Initially, it could be used to find out if a video was relevant to a subject by comparing the number of like and of dislike. Now only the number of like is visible to the viewers, the videographer being the only one who can access the number of dislike. If this option does not allow Internet users to reduce the recommendations of a YouTube channel either, it no longer has much interest for ordinary YouTube viewers.

The “do not recommend” feature on YouTube
The “do not recommend” function on YouTube // Source: screenshot

The most relevant function seems to be the option “do not recommend the channel”. However, it is well hidden, since you have to hover over the three small dots next to the video, on the YouTube home page, to make it appear. More surprisingly, the function ” not interested “which might suggest to YouTube that a channel’s videos aren’t relevant to users’ interests, does little to help narrow down recommendations.

Like most social networks, YouTube seems to base its algorithm primarily on the latest user activity, particularly videos viewed. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you tell the site that you’re not interested in smartphone test videos: if you watch them over and over, there’s a good chance they’ll keep showing up in your suggestions. .

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